Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence: The “Timing Is Everything” Edition

How long to wait for a lover who’s missing at sea, the hard truth about finding true love, and the radical case for staying single.

Your partner is missing at sea. How long should you wait before you begin dating other people? To tackle this and other questions, Prudence is joined by special guest Andrea Silenzi, the host of Panoply’s Why Oh Why podcast.

Other topics inspired by this week’s mailbag: the hard truth about finding true love, dealing with friends who weaponize their depression, and how to reconcile yourself to loving a child who might not be your own. Plus, some radical dating advice.


And a special note this week: we’ve received an unusually high number of letters about people having suicidal thoughts. If that sounds like you or someone you know, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit their website.

Access to the full Dear Prudence podcast is available exclusively to Slate Plus members. Learn more and listen to previous episodes at

Got a question for Prudie? Send it to Or leave a voice mail message at 401-371-DEAR (3327), and you may hear your question answered on a future episode of the show.

Read Prudie’s Slate columns here. Follow Mallory on Twitter. Production by Casey Miner.